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Isabella Gustafson

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Isabella Gustafson Obituary
Isabella "Gussie" Gustafson
Born December 25, 1925, died March 2, 2014. Isabella Black McLarty was born in Hollywood, California, the 6th child of a large depression-era family. After marrying Charles Gustafson in 1948 - known to his friends as Gus - she became Gussie and they celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary in 2013. An unapologetic extrovert with energy and love to spare, she raised their only child, daughter Kris, laboring endlessly at Girl Scouts, the PTA, the Assistance League and the International Student Service, putting everyone else's needs first... but she also quietly continued with her own schooling, taking one college class at a time for twenty years. She graduated from Cal State University Long Beach in 1973 at age 48 with a Master's Degree in Early Childhood Education and began a career in teaching for the Los Angeles Unified School district at 75th Street Elementary School. She loved teaching, adored the kids, was stimulated and frustrated and energized by her job. Upon Gus' retirement, she retired as well and the two traveled throughout the world, and again, putting everyone else's needs first, she volunteered at San Pedro Hospital, eventually accumulating many, many friends and well over 5,000 hours of service. Gussie was smart, funny, organized and efficient. She loved a joke and laughed enthusiastically; she was always ready for an adventure or party or long drive in the car to nowhere. Gussie always said that, no matter what, if you had an idea, you should always ask to implement it: "All they can say is no." She was a "do-er" and problem solver, a great non-judgmental listener, excellent counselor, and an expert secret keeper. She spent time on her friendships and family and nurtured them. Open minded and fair, she was the Mom that high school kids went to talk to and taught a whole bunch to jitterbug in the kitchen. She was the Girl Scout leader who had the fun troop everyone wanted to be in. The world is a better place because she was in it. The exquisite unfairness of Alzheimer's dementia claimed her long before she eventually passed; her spirit and spark have been greatly missed. Gussie leaves behind her husband Gus (Charles); daughter Kris (Jim Brust); granddaughter Alyssa (Tim Lebetsamer, son David); grandson Scott (Suzanne Brust, children Eric, Heidi and Ella); grandson Jeremy (Amy Brust, children Frank, Nora and Jason); dear friends and many nieces and nephews with fond memories of their crazy fun Aunt Isabelle. Her memorial service will be on Wednesday April 2, 2014 at 1:30 PM, McNerney's Mortuary, 570 West 5th Street, San Pedro. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to Girl Scouts, San Pedro c/o GSSP Service Unit Treasurer, 1313 W. 1st Street, San Pedro, CA 90732. Please sign the guestbook at mcnerneysmortuary.com or dailybreeze.com.

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Published in Daily Breeze on Mar. 24, 2014
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